ORLANDO, Fla. – Every year, Santa Claus delivers goodies to the nice kids of the world.
So what happens to the naughty kids?
In some European countries, Santa has a truly frightening helper, and in recent years he’s made his way to Central Florida.
This weekend there are several events in the Orlando area celebrating Krampusnacht, which typically takes place on Dec. 5, the day before the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, in parts of Germany, Austria and other Central European counties.
“According to certain traditions, der Nikolaus (St. Nicholas) is sometimes accompanied by a ‘helper’ to deal with the naughty kids while he reads stories and gives presents to the good kids, either Knecht Ruprecht or the feared goat-demon Krampus, who wears a basket to carry bad children away,” said Troy Williams with Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café in Sanford.
The popular German restaurant is hosting its own Krampusnacht from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5. The free event includes folk music, special menu items for purchase, Krampus dolls for sale, a new Krampus Bier from Deviant Wolfe Brewery in Sanford, and most importantly, the Krampuslauf. That’s where people dress up in Krampus costumes and parade through the town, screaming, rattling chains and bells and causing mayhem. Costumes are strongly encouraged.
Williams said Hollerbach started hosting a Krampusnacht in 2018, and a lot of people do dress up.
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised each year at the enthusiastic and creative participation because the Krampus legend is not that familiar to most people here. We see a wide variety of interpretations,” Williams said.
If you can’t make it out to Sanford Monday night, Krampus will be hanging out all weekend in Central Florida. Here are some other events happening.
Oviedo Mall: Friday, Dec. 2, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The mall is hosting its Deck the Mall event with the theme of “naughty vs. nice.” Guests can go to the “nice” wing of the mall to visit Santa and other storybook characters, get treats and try out some family activities. On the “naughty” side of the mall, Krampus and his minions are watching for troublemakers and taking pictures.
Krampus Kon Cocoa Beach: Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4
Part horror convention, part-film festival, part-cosplay event, all holiday-themed. Krampus Kon will be at the International Palms Resort in Cocoa Beach.
Cocktails and Screams Orlando: Saturday, Dec. 3, starting at 7 p.m.
This Halloween-themed speakeasy in Downtown Orlando is hosting a Krampus Night with special drinks, a Krampus parade and a midnight costume contest. Reservations are available online.
Sideward Brewing Co. Orlando: Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sideward Brewing in The Milk District is hosting a Krampuslauf parade, Christmas vendors, costume contests, live music and all kinds of food.
“While kids are welcome in the earlier hours, after dark, we can no longer vouch for their safety,” the brewery said on the Facebook event page.
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